Changes happening in relations between the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, on one hand, and its allies in other countries, on the other, raise questions about whether Latin America will remain a safe haven for the movement’s interests.
There are questions also about whether 2022 will witness a tightening of the noose around Hezbollah’s strategic financing strongholds?
Latin America was known for its extensive relations with Iran and Hezbollah, one of the Islamic Republic’s regional proxies.
Some countries of the continent, with their history of extensive conflicts, represented a fertile environment for the growth of suspicious relations between the party and outlawed criminal organizations.
Ideological goals were a more important factor in maintaining the party’s relations with Latin American governments.
The bans passed by some countries against the extremist group constituted a shift in relations between Latin American governments and Hezbollah.
The Argentine government decided to ban the party in July 2019. Paraguay followed suit by banning the party and its activities in August 2019.
The bans provide additional indications to changing Latin policies towards Hezbollah.
These changes were mainly driven by political changes in Latin American states.
Washington pushed relentlessly, meanwhile, for including Hezbollah in Argentine’s terrorism list during the rule of the left.
It did this against the backdrop of accusations that Hezbollah members were involved in the bombing of a Jewish Synagogue in the Latin American country.
The attack took place in March 1992. However, demands during the past years continued to be stalled before the government finally acknowledged Hezbollah’s terrorist denomination.
While Brazil expressed its intention to study banning Hezbollah, like its two regional neighbors, the beginning of the Latin transformation towards Hezbollah appeared with the announcement of the 3 + 1 plan, which includes the US, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay as a cooperating alliance against Iran’s activities on the continent.